NOTE: There is a gap in the numbering sequence between E321 and E332.
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works [Tit 2:14]. Titus ii. 14.
The woman wrought a good work upon Christ [Mat 26:10], as he saith. Matt. xxvi. 10.
Paul saith to the church of the Colossians, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God [Col 1:10]. Col. i. 10.
And that you may be established in every good word and work [2 Th 2:17]. 2 Thess. ii. 17.
She (to wit, a widow) well reported for her good works [1 Tim 5:10]. 1 Tim. v. 6.10.
That the church which believe in God might be careful to maintain good works; these things are good and profitable to men [Tit 3:8]. Tit. iii. 8.
And let ours also (to wit, the church of Christ) learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they may not be unfruitful [Tit 3:14]. This says Paul to Titus, and to the church. Tit. iii. 14.
Let us consider one another, to provoke unto love, and to good works [Heb 10:24]. Heb. x. 24.
That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; for God giveth us all things to enjoy [1 Tim 6:18,17]. 1 Tim. vi. 17, 18.
But to do good, and to communicate, forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased [Heb 13:16]. Heb. xiii. 16.
As God hath distributed to every man, and as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk, and so ordain I in all churches [1 Cor 7:17]. 1 Cor. vii. 17.
And Paul exhorts the church of the Romans to their distributing to the necessity of the saints, and of being given to hospitality [Rom 12:13]. Rom. xii. 13.
And to make contribution for the poor saints that were at Jerusalem [Rom 15:26], which the apostle Paul mentions to the Romans. Chap. xv. 26.
Only that we should remember the poor, the same which I also was forward to do, [Gal 2:10] said the apostle to the church at Galatia. Gal. ii. 10.
If any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God hath given him, that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praises and dominion for ever and ever. Amen [1 Pet 4:11] 1 Pet. iv. 11.
And let us not be weary in well-doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not; as we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially to the household of faith [Gal 6:9f]. Gal. vi. 9, 10.
And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus [Col 3:17]; and whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as unto the Lord, knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for ye do serve the Lord Christ [Col 3:23f]. Col. iii. 17.23, 24.
Therefore, to him that knoweth how to do good, and doth it not, it is to him sin [Jas 4:17]. James iv. 17.
He that hath pity on the poor, lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again [Prov 19:17]. Prov. xix. 17.
And you may see, such as were careful to hearken unto the voice of the Lord God, and to obey and keep his commandments; for the Lord thy God will bless thee, as he hath promised, thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow [Deut 15:5f], &c. Deut. xv. 5, 6.
For the Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give thee rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the works of thine hands; and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow Deut 28:12]; and all people of the earth shall see, that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee [Deut 28:10]. Deut. xxviii. 10.12.
And David said, I have been young, and now am old, yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread; for he is ever merciful and lendeth, and his seed is blessed [Psa 37:25f]. Psalm xxxvii. 25, 26.
A good man showeth favour, and lendeth, he will guide his affairs with discretion [Psa 112:5]. Psalm cxii. 5.
The righteous showeth mercy, and giveth [Psa 37:21]. Psalm xxxi. 21.
The righteous giveth, and spareth not [Prov 21:26]; he that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor [Prov 22:9]. Prov. xxi. 26. and xxii. 9.
And he that giveth to the poor, shall not lack [Prov 28:27]. Prov. xxviii. 27.
God giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not [Jas 1:5]. So all men should give of that which they have received of him, liberally, without upbraiding, as in James i. 5.
And he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity [Rom 12:8]. Rom. xii. 8.
Give, and it shall be given unto you [Luke 6:38], saith Christ. Luke vi. 38.
And see the care of the apostles of the poor saints, as in 2 Cor. ix. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.
But this I say, he which soweth sparingly, shall reap sparingly; and he which sows bountifully, shall reap bountifully [2 Cor 9:6]. 2 Cor. ix. 6.
So every man, according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver, (mark, a cheerful giver,) and God is able to make all grace abound towards you, that ye always having all-sufficiency in all things may abound to every good work [2 Cor 9:7f], as is written, ‘He hath dispersed abroad, he hath given to the poor, his righteousness remaineth for ever [2 Cor 9:9, Psa 112:9];’ mark! now he that ministereth seed to the sower, both ministereth bread for your food, and multiplies your seed sown, and increaseth the fruits of your righteousness [2 Cor 9:10]. Isa. lv. 10. and 2 Cor. ix. 7.10.
Being enriched in every good thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God [2 Cor 9:11].
And you may see how the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto their brethren, who dwelt in Judea, and they sent it by the hands of Saul and Barnabas [Acts 11:29f]. Acts xi. 29, 30.
And so of brotherly love, ye need not that I write unto you; for God teacheth you to love one another [1 Th 4:9]. 1 Thess. iv. 9.
But whoso hath this world's goods, and seeth his brother have need, and shuts up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? [1 Jn 3:17] 1 John iii. 17.
There is a generation whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from the earth, and the needy from among men [Prov 30:14]. Prov. xxx. 14.
And therefore the poor and needy are not to be oppressed nor vexed, nor sent away empty, but relieved, and their cause is to be pleaded [Prov 31:9]; as in Prov. xxxi. 9.
And the apostle saith to the church, ‘Give to him that needeth [Eph 4:28].’ Eph. iv. 28.
‘But my God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus [Phil 4:19].’ Phil. iv. 19.
And Christ said, ‘The Father knoweth what things ye have need of [Mat 6:8].’ Matt. vi. 8.
And you may see the manner and way of collections, that the apostles ordered for the saints [1 Cor 16:1-4], in 1 Cor. xvi. 1.
And the Lord saith, ‘If thou deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house, and when thou seest the naked that thou cover him, and that thou hide not thyself from thy own flesh, then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall spring forth speedily, and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward [Isa 58:7f].’ Isaiah lviii. 7. and 8.10.
And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted, then shall thy light arise in obscurity, and thy darkness shall be as the noon-day [Isa 58:10].
And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make thy bones fat, and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not [Isa 58:11]. Here is the practice of godliness. Isaiah lviii. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, &c.
‘The hungry and thirsty, their souls faint in them, then they cry unto the Lord, and he satisfieth the longing soul in their trouble, and filleth the hungry with goodness [Psa 107:5f,9], (or good things [Luke 1:53].) Psalm cvii. 50.
The Lord which made heaven and earth, which giveth food to the hungry, preserveth the stranger, and relieveth the widow and fatherless; but the way of the wicked he turns upside down [Psa 146:5-9]. Psalm cxlvi. 9.
If thy enemy hunger, give him bread to eat; and if he thirst, give him water to drink. Thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee [Prov 25:21f]. Prov. xxv. 21, 22.
And the law of God ye may see in Ezek. xviii. 7.9. He that hath not oppressed any, but hath restored the debtor his pledge, and hath spoiled none by violence, and hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with his garment [Ezek 18:7], he shall surely live, saith the Lord God [Ezek 18:9].
And Job said, ‘Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help, the blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me. I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy [Job 29:12f], and I was a father to the poor [Job 29:16].’ Job xxix. 12, 13.
Dorcas, (a woman,) a certain disciple of Jesus Christ; when she was dead it is recorded, ‘This woman was full of good works, (mark, full of good works) and alms-deeds, which she did in her life time [Acts 9:36]; and all the widows, (mark, all) they stood by Peter, (the widows,) and wept, and showed him the coats and garments that she had made whilst she was alive with them [Acts 9:39],’ mark, with them. A women's meeting in the practice of religion. Acts ix. 36 to the end.
‘Pure religion, and undefiled before God and the Father, is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world [Jas 1:27].’ James i. 27.
And this religion is to be practised by all the right and true christians. For if a brother or sister be naked, and be destitute of daily food, and thou say unto one of them, depart in peace, warm yourselves, and fill your bellies, notwithstanding you give them not those things which are needful to the body, what helpeth it? Even so faith, if it have no works, is dead in itself [Jas 2:15-17]. James ii. 15, 16, 17. See how James encourages to practice religion, and to show forth the works of faith, that works by love.
If thou afflict any widow or fatherless child in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry, saith the Lord, and my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless [Exo 22:22-24]. Exod. xxii. 22.
The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works [Psa 145:9]. Psalm cxlv. 8, 9.
The righteous considereth the cause of the poor; but the wicked regardeth not to know it [Prov 29:7], (to wit, the cause of the poor,) what condition they are in. Prov. xxix. 7.
And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee, then shalt thou relieve him; yea, though he be a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with thee [Lev 25:35]. Lev. xxv. 35.
The poor is hated even of his neighbour, but the rich hath many friends; but he that is merciful to the poor, happy is he [Prov 14:20f]. Prov. xiv. 20, 21.
‘He that oppresseth the poor, reproaches his Maker; but he that honoureth him, (to wit, his Maker,) hath mercy on the poor [Prov 14:31]. Prov. xiv. 31.
Whoso mocks the poor, reproaches his maker [Prov 17:5]. Prov. xvii. 5.
Whoso stops his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard [Prov 21:13]. Prov. xxi. 13.
The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich; he bringeth low, and lifteth up [1 Sam 2:7]. 1 Sam. ii. 7.
Therefore I command thee, thou shalt open thy hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy in the land, saith the Lord [Deut 15:11]. Deut. xv. 11.
The poor useth entreaties; but the rich answereth roughly [Prov 18:23]. Prov. xviii. 23.
Here you may see what care the Lord lays upon his people, to look after the poor, widows, and fatherless, both in the time of the law and in the time of the gospel; and how that they should obey him in his commands, the Lord God, who created all, and gives the increase [1 Cor 3:6f] of all, <121> and gives man and woman good things, both temporal and spiritual, to do good withal. So the Lord is to be obeyed, and his truth is to be practised; and the pure religion, that is undefiled before God and the Father, is above all religions in the world. And this religion is, to visit the widows and fatherless in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world [Jas 1:27]; (mark, unspotted from the world.) And this religion is above the Papists, that must have a purgatory to wash off their spots of the world; and above those Protestants, that plead they must have a body of death and sin [Rom 7:24,6:6] to the grave, with which they are spotted like leopards [Jer 13:23?]. . . .
And Job said, ‘If I did despise the cause of my man servant, or of my maid servant, when they contended with me, what then shall I do when God shall arise? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? [Job 31:13f]’ See the care of this patient man! Is not this for all the true christians to practise? Job xxxi. ver. 13, 14, 15. And, saith Job, ‘Did not he that made me in the womb, make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb? [Job 31:15]’ verse 15. And ‘if I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail, or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; (for from my youth he was brought up with me as with a father, and I have guided her (to wit, the widow) from my mother's womb:) if I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering; if his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; if I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless when I saw my help in the gate; then let mine arm fall from my shoulder-blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone. [Job 31:16-21]’ ‘The stranger did not lodge in the street, but I opened my doors to the traveller [Job 31:32].’ ‘Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor? [Job 30:25]’ Now, here ye may all see the actions and practice of this man, by his practising the pure religion: so it is not a talk, but a walking in it; as you may see in Job xxx. xxxi. chapters.
‘And blessed is he that considereth the poor, the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble [Psa 41:1].’ Psalm xli. 1.
Now, all you that profess God and Christ, see how you walk in the <122> steps of these good men and women; and not only to talk as they did, but do and practise as they did; for it is not every one that saith, Lord, Lord, enters the kingdom, but he that doth what he commands [Mat 7:21].
And Christ saith, ‘Ye call me Lord and master; and ye say well, for so I am; and if I, then, your Lord and master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet: for I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto you. And if ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. [John 13:13-17]’ John xiii. 17.
And Christ saith, ‘Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doth the will of my Father which is in heaven.’ Matt. vii. 21.
So all people may see by Christ's own words, that their saying and speaking of God and Christ, and his prophets and apostles, signifies nothing, except they do his will; that is, practise it, and be obedient to what he commands and requires.
G. F. Top
Dear friends,—Who are gathered in the name of Jesus [Mat 18:20], by whom all things were made and created [John 1:3/Heb 1:2], who upholds all things by his word and power [Heb 1:3], and gives the increase [1 Cor: 3:7] of all things; the earth is his, and the fulness thereof [Psa 24:1]. And therefore let your minds and hearts be with the Lord, and your care cast upon him: and though the Lord is pleased now to try you, and to exercise you in sufferings, and permits your persecutors to spoil your goods, or cast you into prison, to try whether your minds be in him, or in the outward things he gives you: yet let not visible things separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus [Rom 8:38f], nor no persecutions amaze you, nor separate your minds from the love of God. For all things shall work together for good, to them that love God [Rom 8:28]; for the love of God bears all things, and suffers all things [1 Cor 13:7]; and they that spoil the goods of the innocent and cast them into prison, for serving and worshipping of God, the Lord sees it and beholds it; and so leave them to the Lord to deal with them. For that which they get by spoiling you, they will never be the richer for; and when they have done spoiling, the Lord can spoil them and theirs. And all the goods they take from Friends, for serving God, will torment them at last, and be a greater plague to them, more than keeping on your hats, and saying thou to them, was.
And you have had experience how the other powers spoiled your goods; but were they either the richer or the fatter? Nay, the more they did eat, destroy, and devour, the more they looked like Pharaoh's lean cattle [Gen 41:17-21].
And did not the christians of old suffer joyfully the spoiling of their goods [Heb 10:34], by professors and profane? So they that are born of the flesh, will persecute them that are born of the spirit [Gal 4:29]; and they that will live godly in Christ Jesus, must suffer persecution [2 Tim 3:12]; and blessed are they that do suffer persecution for Christ and his righteousness' sake [Mat 5:10].
And so never fear the loss of the fleece, for God can make it grow again, as he did poor Job's [Job 42:12]. And it is the way of the enemy and adversary, to set upon the young convinced, to think by that means to make them to yield. For, have you not read, it was the way, how that the enemies of Israel, of old, fell upon the weak and feeble of their camp, and the hindermost of the flock [Deut 25:18]; but they had their reward at the end. And so wait upon the Lord, and he will support you, though he may try you awhile; as he doth all his saints, that the trial of your faith may come forth more pure than gold [1 Pet 1:7].
And so never fear man, nor what they are permitted to do unto you, but the Lord: though the hungry lions may lack, yet they that wait upon the Lord, shall not want any good thing [Psa 34:10]; for his promise is, he will never leave them nor forsake them [Heb 13:5].
And so the Lord God Almighty give you power and courage, to stand against all the wiles of the enemy [Eph 6:11], and to be valiant for his truth upon the earth [Jer 9:3]. And so, with my love in the everlasting seed, Christ Jesus, who is over him that makes to suffer, and will be when he is gone.
G. F. Top
Marshgrange, the 6th of the 4th month, 1676.
My dear friends in the heavenly relation, and Zion's children, amongst whom the stone that the builders rejected, is elect and precious, and in him Christ, you are elect, who is the head of the corner [Psa 118:22/ 1 Pet 2:6] of God's building; and therefore in the name of Jesus keep your meetings, in whom you all have salvation, and not by any other name under heaven [Acts 4:12]. And though the Lord may try you, where your minds are, and in what, by the outward powers, yet be valiant for God's truth upon the earth [Jer 9:3]; and if some of you be cast into prison, and your goods be spoiled, the seed is upon the head of him that maketh to suffer, and will remain when he is gone: and the Lord God who giveth the increase [1 Cor 3:7] of all, both invisible and visible, can make the fleece to grow again [Job 42:12]. And therefore let your faith be in the power and word of life [1 Jn 1:1]; and the authority of your men and women's meetings is the power of God; and all the heirs of the gospel are heirs of Christ, the heavenly man [1 Cor 15:47], and of his government, of the increase of which there is no end [Isa 9:7]. And so all walk in Christ [Col 2:6], who bruiseth the serpent's head [Gen 3:15], that hath <124> gotten between you and God; so as you all are in him, then nothing can get between you and the Lord God [Rom 8:38f]. And so in the glorious order of the gospel, the power of God [Rom 1:16], dwell, which is over the devil, and the world, and before he and it were, and the power of God will be when he and it are gone: this is the everlasting gospel [Rev 14:6], which bringeth life and immortality to light [2 Tim 1:10]; and that you all may see over him that hath darkened you, to him who was before he was, and the power of God will be when he is gone. And therefore walk in the glorious, blessed, peaceable, and comfortable order of the everlasting gospel; for the gospel, the power of God, is the gospel of peace, and the truth is peaceable: the devil, the destroyer and adversary, abode not in the peaceable truth [John 8:44], and the kingdom of God stands in peace and joy in the holy ghost [Rom 14:17]; and the unity of the spirit is a bond of peace [Eph 4:3] ; yea, the bond of the heavenly man [1 Cor 15:47], the Prince of princes' peace [Dan 8:25], that bond must be kept, by all Zion's children, the heirs of life.
And all seek the peace and good one of another, and dwell in the love of God, that does edify the body of Christ [Eph 4:16], and bears all things, and endures all things [1 Cor 13:7]; and build up one another in the most holy faith [Jude 1:20], which you have from Christ, the Holy One; for ‘holiness becomes the house of God. [Psa 93:5]’ And therefore all mind that which becomes his house; and now is the time for every one to put on the armour of God [Eph 6:11], and to take his weapons and arms, that you may stand by God's ensign [Isa 11:10?] in the truth, against him that is out of truth [John 8:44], keeping on your helmet of salvation [Eph 6:17], as a token of your victory; and your breast-plate of righteousness, which preserves both mind, heart and soul; and your loins girded with truth [Eph 6:14], that you may be valiant for it [Jer 9:3]; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel [Eph 6:15], the power of God, that your feet may stand fast over all slippery places, in the power of God, the gospel, that is sure and everlasting: here is your armour; and your weapon is the sword of the spirit, the word of God [Eph 6:17], the word of life [1 Jn 1:1] and salvation [Acts 13:26], and wisdom [1 Cor 12:8] and reconciliation [2 Cor 5:19]; that is as a sword [Heb 4:12] and a hammer [Jer 23:29], to cut down and hammer down that which hath made a separation betwixt you and God, and is as fire [Jer 23:29] to burn it up. And the shield of faith [Eph 6:16], that is your shield by which you have victory [1 Jn 5:4] and access to God [Rom 5:2]; by which faith all the just live [Hab 2:4, Rom 1:17], and are saved, and contend for it, which is declared to the saints [Jude 1:3] by Christ, who is the author and finisher of it [Heb 12:2]. And by this faith you come to Christ, the author, and as many as receive him, walk in him [John 1:12/Col 2:6], that you may be always fresh and green in him, who bruises the head of the serpent [Gen 3:15], that hath made people lean and barren, and hath made so many barren mountains, which Christ is gathering and calling his people from, that they might walk in the light of the Lord [Isa 2:5], and come to the mountain of the house of the Lord, that is established above all the mountains, where God <125> teaches all his, the way [Isa 2:2f] of life, truth [John 14:6], and salvation [Acts 16:17]. And the mountain of the house of the Lord is always green, with fresh springs and fruitful, and all that live under God's teaching know it. So serve God in the spirit, and in the newness of life [Rom 6:4/7:6], which is over the old, that the Lord God's presence may be felt amongst you; and his son, a prophet to open to you, and a priest to sanctify you, a bishop to oversee you, and a shepherd to feed you; the rock of your age, and ages [Isa 26:4 KJV margin], the foundation of your generation, and many generations; and who are in him, who was elected before the foundation of the world, they build upon him, who is the first and the last, the beginning and ending [Rev 22:13]; in him you have all life and salvation, who is the Amen [Rev 3:14]. . . .
And all that are not faithful, let them be admonished to faithfulness, that so they may come into the light, and life, and service of God and Christ; for all the wise hearted and faithful women, in the time of the law, were to work about the tabernacle of God, and the holy things [Exo 35:25f]: and they were called the assemblies of the women [Exo 38:8].
And all the women in the time of the law were to offer sacrifices upon God's altar, as well as the men. And now in the time of the gospel, which hath brought life and immortality to light [2 Tim 1:10], God doth pour out of his spirit upon all flesh [Joel 2:28, Acts 2:17]; and therefore live in the gospel, and its order; and all true christians, men and women, do offer their spiritual sacrifices [1 Pet 2:5] to God, who is a spirit [John 4:24].
And therefore, my friends, be valiant for God's truth upon the earth [Jer 9:3]; dwell in love [1 Jn 4:16], that will bear all things [1 Cor 13:7]; and let there be an order entered in your books, that there be no provoking words [Gal 5:26] spoken in your meetings, but if any have any thing to say, let them speak to them in love privately [Mat 18:15/Eph 4:15]. And when ye have settled your six women's meetings, then you may have a six weeks', or a Monthly as well as a Quarterly Meeting, as you may see meet. And so that all your wells of life may be kept open, and every one have a fresh spring springing up in you; so that in every one of you the living water of life may flow [John 7:38]; so that ye all may be refreshed with the fountain of life [Psa 36:9], and feel Christ a bishop [1 Pet 2:25] to oversee, and a counsellor [Isa 9:6] to counsel, and a king to rule in your hearts, and a prophet to open, and a shepherd to feed you [Isa 40:11] with his heavenly food.
And so see that nothing be lacking among you [1 Th 4:12], both inward and outward; <126> and whatsoever is decent, comely, modest, virtuous, righteous, and of good report [Phil 4:8], follow after, and be steadfast upon Christ the rock and foundation. And whatever you do, let it be done in the name of Jesus [Col 3:17], (that is, in his power,) and mind the gospel of peace, and its order, which hath brought life and immortality to light [2 Tim 1:10], that you may be preserved in life, and in immortality, by the immortal power. And all to be children of the wisdom that is from above, which is pure and peaceable, and easy to be entreated [Jas 3:17], keeping the unity in God's holy spirit, in which is the bond of the Prince of princes' peace [Eph 4:3/Dan 8:25], in whom you have all peace, life, and salvation. . . .
And so if you do write to New England and Jamaica, where I hear they have precious men and women's meetings, it might do well to encourage one another in the work and service of God: so that the women may all be helps-meet to the men [Gen 2:18] in the restoration, in the image of God [Col 3:10], as man and woman were in before they fell. So with my love in the seed of life to all Friends in the island.
G. F. Top
Swarthmore, in Lancashire, the 25th of the 8th month, 1676.
[CCCXXXIV. (334) — To Friends in the Isle of Man.]
My dear friends,—All dwell in the love of God, and in his power and truth, that the presence of the Lord God you all may enjoy, who is the life of you all, and the length of your days [Deut 30:20], who hath the breath of all mankind [Job 12:10], and the spirits of all flesh [Num 16:2] in his hand; and in him you do all live, and move, and have your being [Acts 17:28], who is your rock and salvation [Psa 62:2], <127> and fountain of life [Psa 36:9], and of all your mercies, and of your water of life [Rev 21:6]: and therefore serve, and honour, and fear, and worship him in his spirit and truth [John 4:24]; and that you all may abide in the holy, heavenly and spiritual vine, and in him bring forth heavenly and spiritual fruits [John 15:4f, Gal 5:22], to the glory of God, who sent his son to be a leader [Isa 55:4], and the way to God [John 14:6], who draweth all men up to himself [John 12:32], where he is ascended, to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus [Eph 2:6], out of all sin and transgression, by which man was driven from God, that made him barren and unfruitful. And therefore, be ye separated from the world to the Lord [Num 6:2, 2 Cor 6:17], by the word which was in the beginning [John 1:1], which divideth the precious from the vile [Jer 15:19]; that by that word ye may be reconciled to God [2 Cor 5:19]; which word reconcileth all things in heaven and in the earth in one [Eph 1:10/Col 1:20]; which word hammereth down that which made twain [Jer 23:29/Eph 2:15]; and so by the glorious everlasting word of life [1 Jn 1:1] you are born again of the immortal seed of God [1 Pet 1:23], and feed upon the milk of this everlasting word [1 Pet 2:2], which liveth, and abideth, and endureth for ever [1 Pet 1:23], and was in the beginning; by which word you have wisdom and salvation, by which wisdom all God's children are justified [Mat 11:19]. The Lord God in his immortal power preserve you, out of all evil, and out of the earth, and over your enemies, within and without, in his everlasting seed Christ, that is over all, to his glory, for ever. Amen.
G. F. Top
Dear friends,—In the love of God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, look above all your outward sufferings, and him that is out of truth [John 8:44], that makes you to suffer; and let nothing separate you from the love of God which you have in Christ Jesus [Rom 8:38f], by whom all things were made [John 1:3]: I say, let not the birth of the flesh [Gal 4:29], with all his carnal weapons [2 Cor 10:4], jails, and prisons, threats, or reproaches, move you, nor separate you from the love of God, nor from your foundation, the rock of ages , Christ Jesus [1 Cor 3:11/Isa 26:4 KJV margin]: but feel the well of life springing up in you [John 4:14], to nourish the plant that God has planted in you, of his renown [Ezek 34:29], that that may grow up within his hedge, his power, which will keep out the devil and all the venomous beasts [Acts 28:4], from entering into God's garden, or kingdom. And therefore let your faith stand in the Lord's power, which is your hedge and defence, and which is your keeper [1 Pet 1:5], and will keep you safe, that you need not be afraid of your enemy, your adversary; for the Lord's power is over his head, and you within his power, then nothing can get betwixt you and God; and in the power of the Lord is the city set upon his hill, where the light shines, and the heavenly salt is [Mat 5:13f], , and the lamps burning, and trumpets sounding forth the praise of God [Psa 150:3], of the eternal joy, in his eternal word of life [1 Jn 1:1], that lives, and abides, and endures for <128> ever [1 Pet 1:23]. And so to the praise and glory of God you may bring forth fresh and green fruit, being grafted into the green tree that never withers [Psa 1:3/John 15:5/Rom 11:24/Luke 23:31].
Oh! be valiant for God's glory and his truth upon the earth [Jer 9:3], and spread it abroad, answering that of God in every man and woman's conscience [1 Pet 3:21?]; knowing him that hath brought everlasting peace into the earth: so, that the songs of salvation may be in your mouths; for it is said, ‘With the heart man believes, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation [Rom 10:10].’ So every true believer will confess to Christ his salvation, their way, light, and life, out of death and darkness; their prophet, to open to them; their shepherd, to feed them; and their bishop, to oversee them; their captain and commander, to command and to lead them; their counsellor, to counsel them; and their priest, who hath offered himself for them [Heb 7:27], and also sanctifies them, and offers them up to God: to whom be all praise and glory for ever. Amen. . . .
And as for truth in this part of the world, and in America, it prospers, and spreads, and goes on; and by it many men and women are made God's free men and women, being redeemed from him that is out of truth [John 8:44], that they may serve God in the new life (Rom 6:4/7:6] n Christ Jesus, (out of the old life in Adam in the fall,) and so come to live in the heavenly unity, wisdom, love, and dominion.
So, in that love that bears all things [1 Cor 13:7], and keeps your hearts, minds, and souls up to God [Mark 12:30], which comes from God, through which you come to love God, and Christ, and one another; in that live and dwell.
G. F. Top
Swarthmore, the 17th of the 3d month, 1676.
Dear friends,—To whom is my love in the seed of life, that bruises the head of the seed of death [Gen 3:15]; and through him you have all life eternal; who is the foundation of the prophets, and the apostles [Eph 2:20], and all God's people, in all ages, their rock to build upon, that will stand the waves of the sea, and all storms and foul weather [Mat 7:24f]; who is the horn of your salvation, to push down all that stands in your way to God; and to push down him that has led man and woman from God: so, that you may all sing of your rock, and the horn of your salvation [2 Sam 22:3, Psa 18:2], as the holy ones did in ages past; and Christ, who is your foundation [1 Cor 3:11], the lamb of God [John 1:29], who hath been slain from the foundation of the world [Rev 13:8], but now he has <129> overcome the world [John 16:33], and is risen, and ascended far above all principalities, powers, thrones, and dominions [Eph 4:10/Col 1:16]; and is razing down to the ground the world's foundation [Psa 137:7?], from which foundation he has been slain, and is setting up himself, the living and everlasting foundation, for all his to build upon. And therefore, because the world and its foundation, Christ is razing down, they are offended and angry, and the heathen rage and take counsel against the anointed [Psa 2:1f]. But it is to no purpose, for he will shake the foundation of all false religions, ways, worships, churches, and teachers, and will make the pillars of them to totter, and they must be at their wit's end [Psa 107:27], before they see another foundation. For God shook down the four monarchies, the great empires of the world [Dan 2:31-45], and scattered them abroad with his wind, as the chaff of the summer floor [Dan 2:35], all those great persecutors. And the little stone that is cut out of the mountain without hands [Dan 2:45], that no earthly man has the glory of, is becoming a great mountain, and will fill the whole earth [Dan 2:35], (glory to God for ever!) and it will dash down all men's glory and pride, let them soar as high as Nebuchadnezzar, and shelter as many under them as he did, in their sects, that he may make them to know, that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men [Dan 4:17], and that his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom [Dan 4:3]. And therefore, all Friends, that know the light, which is the life in Christ, be faithful in the truth, and spread it abroad, answering the light of Christ in every one; for Christ bid his disciples go preach the gospel unto all nations [Mark 16:15/Rev 14:6]: and since that was done, are many gathered into the fellowship and order of it. But since, the world has worshipped the beast [Rev 13:4], and given their glory and honour to him, instead of God and Christ; which beast is out of truth, and had his power from the dragon [Rev 13:2], and the whore, and all nations have drunk of her cup, and she has rode upon the beast [Rev 17:2-5]; and now the everlasting gospel must be preached again to all nations, tongues, and people [Rev 14:6], that dwell upon the earth. So all nations have been darkened from life and immortality; and now the gospel, which is the power of God [Rom 1:16], brings life and immortality to light again [2 Tim 1:10], that they may come to see over him that has darkened them, and before he was; and such come into the city of the heavenly Jerusalem [Heb 12:22], and drink of the waters of life freely [Rev 21:6].
And therefore, all live and walk in the light, in which you have fellowship and unity [1 Jn 1:1], and be at peace among yourselves, and in love, which edifies [1 Cor 7:31], and bears all things [1 Cor 13:7]; for this is that which passes knowledge [Eph 3:19], and keeps in the humility of Christ Jesus. So, my desires are, that you may all spread and grow in the vine [John 15:4f], for the Lord hath a great people to come out in those parts [Isa 13:3-5? Joel 2:1f?], which I saw in 1651. And therefore labour in God's power, that you may increase your heavenly treasure, and enter into the joy of the Lord [Mat 25:14-30]. And so, with my love to <130> all in the truth, that walk and live in it, that by it they may be made God's freemen [1 Cor 7:22].
Swarthmore, the 2nd of the 7th month, 1676.